Monsoon Issue - 2017

Smile Foundation

smilescapes

CAN MOBILE HEALTHCARE BRIDGE THE GAP FOR THE POOR IN INDIA?

With a population of more than a billion, delivery of good healthcare to every nook and corner of the country becomes complex and demanding. Sitting in metropolitan cities where we have access to world-class hospitals, one cannot imagine how difficult it is for a person living in a remote tribal belt of Arunanchal Pradesh, a hamlet in the middle of the Thar desert, or a village in the interiors of Bihar, to get the best medical care when in need. Why? Owing to some disturbing facts like these regions have on an average a whopping 3,000 people per doctor. Given the rough terrains, getting to the nearest hospital (setup miles away) is one of the biggest challenges faced by the inhabitants.

Unfortunately in our country, those with the greatest need of healthcare services have the greatest difficulty inaccessing them, and are the least likely to have their healthcare needs met. There are many unreached rural regions across the country where there is a serious dearth of healthcare services. The hospitals are usually built in the city and very few doctors are appointed in these areas, leading to an extremely poor health scenario in the communities.

Women from Tamil Nadu villages sew up past wounds and tailor new dreams

Women from Tamil Nadu villages sew up past wounds and tailor new dreams

I always thought my incomplete education would keep me from earning a decent livelihood. I have a family of five, including two younger sisters. I am the eldest child in the family. Both my parents work as daily wage laborers. They used to worry a lot as there I had no brother who could support the family financially.” Mamta's story is no different from the many young girls and boys who inhabit the villages of Kanchipuram. Mamta's parents had worked their entire life, earning and saving the little they could. Their lives were hard hit by the 2015 Chennai floods.

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From surviving to living: A big leap for the beggars community in Chakrabhata

Neelam has been begging since she was very young. She does not remember the exact age since she started begging to support her family of five, including her husband and three kids. Her husband goes to the nearby city to earn a daily wage. She has begged all her life and so have her grandmothers and the other women in the small community she is a part of. Going to school and thinking of any other livelihood source was never a possibility for her and the other inhabitants of Chakrabhata village in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh.

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From surviving to living: A big leap for the beggars community in Chakrabhata
Taking Care Of The Elderly Through Specialized Health Camps

Taking Care Of The Elderly Through Specialized Health Camps

This is just one of the many heart touching stories we came across during the several health and support camps organized for senior citizens as part of Smile Foundation's healthcare projects across India. Hundreds turned up to avail the healthcare services, but in addition to imminent medical attention, what they needed the most was company – someone who would listen to them, say a kind word, hold their hand, and show just a little bit of love and care.

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Afreen's first “STEP” on the journey of empowerment

I come from a family, where it wasn't easy for me to have dreams. No one in my family had received education, and the same was applicable for me as well. Despite her inclination towards studies, my mother was not allowed to go to school. But she had a dream for me that I get educated and become an independent woman when I grow up. She bravely told her wish to my father, who opposed and threatened her with dire consequences.

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Afreen's first “STEP” on the journey of empowerment

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